KEY LARGO, Florida Keys — Divers should pack their pumpkin carving tools when they gear up for the 21st annual Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest Saturday, Oct. 5, in Key Largo waters.
Hoping to wow judges with jolly jack-o-lanterns during the lighthearted sculpting challenge, two-person teams of crafty carvers are to descend approximately 25 feet beneath the surface in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Their task: transform the naturally buoyant pumpkins into masterful sculptures incorporating frightening facial features, playful sea creatures or traditional toothy grins.
As dive knives pare away stringy shreds of the pumpkins’ flesh, quick-swimming reef fish typically dart in for a closer look and a nibble before the tidbits float away.
Divers can join in to celebrate the fall harvest fun with Amy Slate's Amoray Dive Resort, located at mile marker 104.5.
The top three buddy teams who create a pumpkin worthy of praise from the experienced judges (who double as the crew of the Amoray Diver dive boat) can win prizes including a dive trip for two and fashionable swag.
The entry fee is $85 per certified diver for the two-location dive including tanks, weights and snorkel equipment. Check in is at 8 a.m. and the boat departs at 8:30 a.m.
Space is limited so contestant divers are encouraged to sign up early for the special event.
Event information: amoray.com or 800-426-6729
Key Largo visitor information: fla-keys.com/keylargo or 800-822-1088